Isla de las Muñecas, Xochimilco, Mexiko

Just how brave are you? 

Photo left: Flickr
Words: Judith Mutici

Bored of the usual halloween parties? Tired of wrapping yourself in toilet paper and calling yourself a “mummy”? Here are five creepy destinations for a halloween you will NEVER forget.  

1 ISLA DE LAS MUÑECAS (Island of the Dolls)
Xochimilco, Mexico

Zombie dolls hanging from trees, missing limbs and melted plastic - what looks like the set of a Hollywood horror movie is actually the life-long project of Don Julián. The rather strange hobby began in 1951, when a young girl drowned not far from the island. What started out as an attempt to settle her spirit’s constant screaming at night turned into an obsession, as he collected more and more dolls to protect himself. In 2001, Don Julián’s body was found in the same spot as the young girl who had died 50 years earlier. 

 

 

2 BELL WITCH CAVE
Tennessee, USA

Anyone who has seen films like Blair Witch Project (1999) or An American Haunting (2005) will know just how important witches have been in American folklore. What most of us don’t know, is that both films are based on the same (supposedly) true story. The legend of the “Bell Witch”, who made the Bell family’s life a nightmare in the early 19th century is perhaps one of the most told and best documented stories in the country. Many claim that the cave where she once resided is still haunted to this day. 

 

© YouTube // Ghost Adventures

3 BRAN CASTLE
Transylvania
, Romania

Who is the most famous vampire of them all? No, it’s not Edward Cullen…this title goes to Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula (1897). For the story, the Irish writer drew inspiration from one of the most bloodthirsty rulers of all time - Vlad Drăculea III. Drăculea ruled by terror and violence in the 15th century and became renowned for his extremely gruesome form of execution, winning him the title of Vlad the Impaler. Bran Castle looks exactly like the residence of Stoker’s Dracula, and is now a popular tourist attraction as “Dracula’s Castle”. Historians doubt that Vlad III ever set foot in the castle, but that does not change the eerie atmosphere the castle possesses.  

 

Schloss Bran, Transsilvanien, Rumänien

© Wikipedia

4 BALLYGALLY CASTLE
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

The castle, which now operates as a hotel is well known for two things: the spectacular view over Ballygally bay, and the fact that it is haunted by the ghost of Lady Isobel Shaw. The tale goes that Lady Isobel was unable to provide her husband James with a male heir, and as punishment was locked in the castle tower to die of hunger. Refusing to die in this manner and driven crazy through fear, Lady Isobel threw herself out of the window in an attempt to escape. Her restless ghost still continues to walk the halls of the old castle, so make sure you really did order room service when you here a knock on your door late at night. 

 

5 CAPELA DOS OSSOS (Chapel of Bones)
Évora, Portugal

The Chapel of Bones is not just a name for a fancy church; it is actually made out of human bone. The place of worship was built using the skeletons of 5,000 monks, and their skulls, ribs and arms can still be seen in the walls today. Above the entrance the following inscription can be read, “Stop here and consider, that you will reach this state too.” A small reminder of what lies ahead for all of us. 

 

Knochenkapelle, Évora, Portugal

© Getty

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